NBA Rumors: Will Chris Paul Follow David West on Yellow Brick Road out of Bayou?

NBA Rumors Around The New Orleans Hornets Heat Up With David West's Decision to Opt For Free Agency

Does today mark the end of the current New Orleans Hornets?

Forward David West has decided to forgo his final season under contract and test the free agent waters. His days in the Bayou are more than likely finished. He had previously turned down a three-year, $26M extension this season.

Looking forward, does this mean point guard Chris Paul is the next to depart? Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski thinks that is the likely scenario:

His decision could be a prelude to the eventual departure of All-Star guard Chris Paul, who has played his entire career with West in New Orleans. The Hornets might have to trade Paul next season before he reaches free agency in 2012 and start a complete rebuilding process.

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It's a situation similar to Dwight Howard's with the Orlando Magic. If the team feels they can't re-sign their star—it's better to get something in return then nothing ala the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James.

Paul has given no indication he plans to stay in town and now he has lost his right-hand man. All indications point to a divorce and now the Hornets need to be focused on getting an attractive package for him that can jump start the rebuilding process.

Keep an eye on the rumors around Paul over the coming weeks as the trade talks really begin to heat up.

—Eric Ball

Follow @BigLeague_Eball

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